Retelling is the process in which a child reads or listens to a story and then summarizes it in his own words including the beginning, middle and ending. Retelling helps students develop a sense of story structure and become more accurate in monitoring their own understanding. Students can transfer this knowledge of story structure to their own writing. Practicing retelling also strengthens students’ speaking and listening skills and addresses many Common Core State Standards.
However, retelling can be very difficult to teach; students often struggle to include all of the components required for a detailed retell. Sharon the Summarizing Squirrel’s Tell the Tale tool helps students learn to retell in an engaging, kinesthetic way. The Tell the Tale strip has 8 boxes with both visual and textual prompts to assist students with retell. They move their fingers along the strip or jump each box (in the enlarged vinyl version) as they retell.
Tell the Tale Preparation:
1.Print on thick, heavy-duty cardstock using a color printer
2. Laminate and cut out.
3. Determine which Tell the Tale retell strip works best for your students’ instructional needs. The first Tell the Tale strip includes a Central Message or Author’s Purpose box; this is an ideal tool when reading fables and folktales or when teaching author’s purpose. It is best to use with students who already have experience with retell and are fairly proficient with the skill.
4. The second Tell the Tale strip has 5 retell boxes with transitional words to prompt students to tell 5 important events. This strip is best for students who are learning how to give a detailed retell or for students who need additional practice and support. Use these differentiated strips to scaffold instruction as needed.
5. Enlarge the Tell the Tale strip on vinyl at your local Office Max or other print shop and use like a hopscotch. This is my students’ favorite way to retell!
e. Finally, Frog and Toad wait four long days on the porch together until the letter arrives.”